August 16th, 2017 ~ Vol. 87 No. 32
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Fire ban remains active
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
ANNA KROUPINA
Pass Herald Reporter
Monday’s rain, gloom and chill will not put a damper on the existing fire ban in Crowsnest Pass, says Assistant Manager of Protective Services / Deputy Fire Chief Mark Calvert.

One day of rain is not enough to reduce the ban, especially since the weather is expected to return to dry conditions for the foreseeable forecast.

“It would take a fair amount more of precipitation to get the fire ban reduced,” says Calvert.

The off-highway vehicle (OHV) ban also remains in effect. OHVs pose a danger in dry conditions because debris falling from the vehicles or heat sources emitted from them may spark a fire, says Calvert.

“The exhaust runs pretty hot. Gas particles can get caught around the exhaust and can start a fire that way. If you don’t have a spark arrestor, it can also inadvertently start a fire. Even if you’re as careful as you can be, there can still be an incident,” he says.

According to Wildfire Alberta, exhaust systems can heat up to over 204°C. That’s hot enough to fry an egg!
continued below ...
They recommend clearing debris from hot spots before and after riding an OHV, as well as during a ride, stopping frequently to knock off any debris from the machine. Carrying a small shovel, collapsible pail or fire extinguisher is also recommended.

According to Calvert, Crowsnest Pass Fire/Rescue has only responded to one call where a resident was burning wood. They have, however, responded to multiple false alarm calls.

“We’ve responded to lots of calls where people thought that someone was burning a campfire, but most of them were propane,” he says. “It’s difficult to tell the difference unless you get right in there and see the propane bottle and see that it’s not emitting sparks or smoke. They’re just driving by, seeing the flames and calling it in, which is fine. We go and investigate every one to make sure that people are not burning.”

Fire/Rescue has not received any complaints of people using OHVs.

Alberta Agriculture and Forestry instituted the fire ban for the region on July 19.
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August 16th, 2017 ~ Vol. 87 No. 32
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